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Crawl, Walk, Run – Monday Morning Manufactured Housing Marketing and Sales Meeting

July 16th, 2018 No comments

 

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No good parent demands that an infant start to walk moments after they’re born. Development of motor skills and intellect takes time. The initial achievement for the normal baby is to learn to roll over, then to crawl, later that first step, walking, and finally a healthy child learns to run.

 

Once learned, the child doesn’t run or even walk constantly. Different activities are needed for different times. 

Once we learn to walk, we can still stumble and fall. Perfection is a goal, but it isn’t one we achieve in this life. That said, the standard should always be excellence.

BeAYardstickofQualitySomepeopleAren'tUsetoEnvironmentWherefExcellenceExpectedSteveJobsPhotoQuoteDailyBusinessnewsMHProNews

Failing to seek excellence hurt many manufactured housing in the 1990s, and it hurt numbers in the mobile home era of the business in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Let’s learn the lessons.

The D.R. Horton Homes story we spotlighted last week on the Daily Business News ought to be mandatory reading for every person that works in manufactured housing.  

Why?

Because it reminds us all that you can spend $300,000, $400,000 or more on a new residence, and that conventionally “site built” house can still have HUNDREDS of defects.

If you missed that D.R. Horton Homes story, the public version of that story is linked here. Link that version from social media. Show it to prospects, in the right way, and only at the right time.

The professional version of that D.R. Horton post is linked below, and should be read later for greater insights. This is a must for every pro, period, regardless of your job in MHVille.

Investors, Heartbroken Home Owners, Site Building Giant DR Horton, and Manufactured Housing

Note that we’ve made that point years before, when we video interviewed for MHLivingNews.com a conventional housing inspector. He spoke then about the problems he found with new homes that cost over $500,000, back at that time.  He told us then that he finds fewer errors in a manufactured home, than in conventional housing. Surprising?  

But regardless of the price, no house is perfect.

 

The High Cost of False Expectations 

The normal person who buys a car knows that it will require new tires, oil changes, brake jobs, and other maintenance.

In the RV business, initial quality is frankly an issue. Who says? Among others, a gent who used to do quite a lot of work for the RV industry, and is currently a vice president at the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI). He told me that initial quality is an ongoing challenge for RVs.  Yet, RVs cost far more per square foot than the most expensive manufactured home on the market.

That MHI VP is not alone on the initial quality of RVs point. 

So it isn’t just site built houses. RVs, cars – or manufactured homes – that need service and adjustments.  They all do. These are facts. 

In coaching new or even seasoned sales people, the way to handle such issues is to set the right expectations as early on as reasonable with a given prospect. 

If a home being sold to a customer is an entry-level, VOG design (Vinyl over Gypsum, or wall boards that use batten strips), tell the customer at the right point and as early on as reasonable what to expect. Give them a $20 tool kit with the sale of the home, that includes an inexpensive claw hammer.

At the right time, which varies from prospect to prospect, explain that in transport, or as a house settles, that they may see some of those nails or staples pop out some, and that a batten strip can bow.   

Correcting the Record on Housing Affordability, Manufactured Home Shoppers, & MHI

Then, explain or show them how to tap that nail or staple back in.  You begin by telling them something like the following.

Can I give you a dose of reality for a few moments?” 

When they give you their ok, start with something like this.

Some of what I will share will sound negative, but facts are facts. The better you understand the facts, the happier you will be as a home owner.” 

Keep good eye contact. 

Consumer Reports, Fannie Mae, and Harvard University are among the third-party researchers that have cited for years the fact that a manufactured home can last as long as a conventional site-built housing.  That’s amazing isn’t it?  But that doesn’t mean that this or any other kind of home is perfect. ABC News is among the mainstream news media outlets that have said that giant conventional housing builders – like D.R. Horton Homes – may have hundreds of cosmetic or other defects, in a single house.”

Let that sink in for a beat or two, keep that eye contact, and then continue.

VOGEntryLevelManufacturedHomeManufacturedHomeLivingNewsPostedDailyBusienssNewsMHProNews

Manufactured housing produces build entry level homes, such as the one shown above, as well as residential style homes. Entry level homes often use VOG and batten strips. This is similar to entry level cars, cells, RVs, etc. Lower cost, less expensive finish. But that entry level manufactured home must still meet all of the safety, energy and construction standards established by HUD. That’s the beauty of manufactured housing! Satisfaction with manufactured home living is well established by both federal and private reports.

There are pluses and minuses to everything. In manufactured housing, you commonly see some models of homes that are lower in cost, which often use batten strips and VOG. VOG is a fine product. VOG allows you to clean the walls without painting them. VOG is Vinyl over Gypsum. So VOG is sheetrock with a covering, similar to the sheetrock without a covering used in site built or other homes, that gets tape and texture.”

Tape and texture can get stress cracks. That’s not as common in VOG. But with VOG, you may see nails or staples that pop out. That’s normal after transport, or if a home settles.” 

Some sellers promise the moon, and fail to deliver.”

“We’d rather tell you the truth, and then you will be happier because you will have the right expectations. If you don’t already have a tool kit, and when you buy a home from us, when you close, we’ll give you a basic tool kit with your home.  We will also show you just how simple it is to tap that nail or staple back in place. Is that fair enough?” 

I’ve sold, managed the sales of, and coached others to sell the same kinds of homes – high, medium and entry level – that you have. Thousands upon thousands of homes were sold the right way. We had stellar review from customers. 

But here’s a hidden payoff. At my own dealership which sold hundreds of homes a year before it was profitably sold, I never had even one retail consumer hire an attorney.

Think about it.  Not one letter from an attorney for a retail customer. We did have a dispute or two with others in business, but not with consumers. Instead, we had routine satisfaction and referrals. That satisfaction and those referrals came to us, by doing things the right way. 

A key part of that was setting the right expectation.  What we share, we know that it works, when you do it properly.

How do you achieve that level of customer satisfaction? There are several points, but one of them is by setting the right expectation on the front end. 

The reality is that customers will find out everything in time anyway. So, why not be up front about it? 

  • Which way will the customer respect you more?
  • Which way will bring you more business?
  • Which way will cost you customers later on in life? 

We have scores of simple tips that we teach and coach clients on that result in higher satisfaction, more sales, and more referrals.

We also have sophisticated recruiting, marketing, and sales systems that perform in manufactured housing. By performance, I mean systems that when properly used are proven to attract and sell more customers who can stroke the check, or who can qualify for most any kind of good financing. 

The bottom line is simple, yet profound. “Do for others as you would have them do for you.” A Jewish Carpenter named Jesus said that, and if it was good enough for that home builder, it’s more than good enough for you and me.  

Should every plant and production center strive to do the best job they can for their price points?  

Absolutely.

 MyJobIsNotToBeEasyonPeopleMyJobistoMakeThemBetterSteveJobsQuotePhotoDailyBusinessNewsMhproNews

But be realistic. That $300,000 and up D.R. Horton Homes that ABC News spotlighted isn’t a one off. There are a number of websites and other mainstream news stories that reflect complaints against site-builders.

So, why don’t they have the image issues that manufactured housing does?

We’ll look at that question another time, but for now, you focus on setting the right expectations.

 

LouHoltzCoachNDDOwhatsRightDoYourBestTreatOthersLIkeYOuWanttoBeTreated3QuestionsCanITrustYOuAreYouCommittedDoYOuCareAboutMeNCRDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews

Before Lou Holtz coached at Note Dame, he coached at Arkansas. In the 1978 Orange Bowl on January 2, 1978, featuring the Arkansas Razorbacks against the heavily-favored Oklahoma Sooners. The sixth-ranked Razorbacks were 10–1, but were heavy underdogs to the #2 Sooners. Holtz benched two of his best players before the game, for a rules violation. People thought he was crazy. Holtz’s team still pulled off a stunning upset win.  Holtz practiced what he preached.

Treat that customer as you’d want them to treat you. When you do, something almost like magic happens.

You’ll rarely regret it if you routinely tell the truth in an effective, and compelling way. Need more sales? Got a budget for marketing, sales, and coaching? Call or message to learn more. The ROI is terrific for marketing and sales done properly. ## (Coaching tips, marketing, sales, management, commentary, and analysis.)

(Third party images, and content are provided under fair use guidelines.)

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Tony is the multiple award-winning managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com.

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Related Reports:

Wheat, Chaff, and the Monday Morning Manufactured Housing Sales, Marketing Meeting

 

 

Investors, Heartbroken Home Owners, Site Building Giant DR Horton, and Manufactured Housing

July 12th, 2018 No comments
DRHortonHomesAmerciasBuilderLogoPhotoManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Photo of a D.R. Horton Home model in MD. 

Investors: D.R. Horton, Inc., America’s Builder, has been the largest homebuilder by volume in the United States for thirteen consecutive years,” says the publicly-traded company’s website.

 

Their website provided the following data, linked here.  The screen capture below is just part of that fact sheet.

DRHortonFactSheetPostedManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHpronews

Click here or the image above to download the full size fact sheet.

 

Horton sells more than half the total number of housing units annually sold by the entire manufactured housing industry, and obviously at a far higher average price-point.

A report in Oct 2017, said their sales total in 2016 was $12.3 billion in revenues.

That’s more than double the retail sales total for all of the HUD Code manufactured homes sold in 2017 by the manufactured housing (MH) industry. The latest MH data can be reviewed later, at the link below.

Manufactured Home Shipments, State by State Breakdown, May 2018 Official HUD Data

Why does any of this matter to MHVille?

Fair question, let’s look.

 

The Site Built Housing Industry Reality Check  #1

ABC News did the following exposé of the host of problems found in the conventional housing industry.

This isn’t new, there are numerous other similar reports.  Check out this short one by a local news report.

 

These are similar to the kinds of problems that caused the old pre-HUD Code mobile home industry’s leaders to turn to the federal government and ask for federal standards.  Problematic pre-HUD Code mobile home builders in the early 1970s caused the builders of better homes NOT to want to be branded by those with a poor image.

The ‘quality crisis’ of the late 1960s and early 1970s led to exposés by CBS’ 60 Minutes and others.  That threatened the credibility of the then-booming mobile home business.  Are site builders heading toward a similar crisis? And will manufactured home producers, marketers and sellers be able to tap into those concerns?

MobileHomeShipmentsManufacturedHomeShipmentChartMHIAShipmentsMHIndustryChampionSkylineHUDCodeDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

What was accomplished previously in sustainable shipment levels, can clearly be done again.

D.R. Horton is far from alone in facing such concerns among conventional, on-site builders.  There have been numerous websites over the years – example, http://www.kbhomesleak.com/kb-home-sucks-1-gone/ – that spotlight these kinds of problems with other stick builders.

The point here isn’t to trash D. R. Horton, nor any other, conventional housing builders.

Rather, it is to make a few points similar to what the National Association of Home Builder (NAHB) official interviewed in the ABC News video above made.

Namely, that housing isn’t perfect.

No product is, and that includes manufactured homes.

So why is it that conventional housing is roaring, and manufactured home shipments are snoring?

ConstructionofModestsizedHomesRemainsLimitedHarvardJCHS2018ManufacturedModularHousingDailyBuisnessNewsMHPronEws

The only JCHS graphic that specifically mentions manufactured housing. To see our exclusive review of the Harvard’s “State of the Nation’s Housing in 2018, click here or the graphic above. 

Part of the beauty of manufactured homes is that there are third-party inspections. Those avoid many of the kinds of problems being identified by site builders, noted in the videos above.

HUD Code manufactured housing consumers can take comfort in that inspection process. Furthermore, the dispute resolution process that is part of the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000 (MHIA) gives consumers a level of confidence that is frankly not found in the conventional housing world.  The MHIA of 2000 is found in the article linked below, along with other information that can be read later for greater depth of understanding on a related topic.

Two Great Laws Already on the Books NOW,  Can Unlock Billion$ Annually for Manufactured Housing Industry Businesse$, Investor$

Unlike many conventional builders, manufactured home producers are all third-party inspected. And the review process – per HUD data reveals – so few consumer complaints that it should make all manufactured home sellers proud.

The article from MHLivingNews last year spotlighted the relatively few numbers of dispute resolution complaints on HUD Code homes.

Federal Data Spotlights Manufactured Home Industry Quality, Regulatory Questions

There are so many ways to make the points to consumers that today’s manufactured homes are a good investment.

It should be noted that Horton Homes, a manufactured housing company that was based in Georgia, was not connected with D.R. Horton.

Per References for Businesses, “…the publicly-owned D. R. Horton construction firm, based in Dallas, Texas, is an entirely different company…Horton [Homes] had played a part in improving the industry’s prestige, however. For years, jokes had persisted about manufactured housing–or rather trailers, sometimes nicknamed “tornado bait.” The homes had been considered to be shoddy, unattractive, substandard, and (in the case of a tornado or even of high winds) unsafe. Starting in the 1970s, however, that began to change. In June 1976, the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) set new safety standards for mobile home construction. In the wake of hurricanes Hugo (1989) and Andrew (1992), HUD increased its requirements, declaring that manufactured homes should be able to withstand winds of 110 m.p.h. Horton [Industries] decided that his own product should meet even higher standards, and in 1997 the Atlanta Business Chronicle reported that some Horton Homes could sustain winds of 135 m.p.h.”

 

As an interesting side-note, Texas-based Legacy Housing, Inc. states that it purchased Horton Industries manufactured housing production facilities in Eatonton, GA in a January 2016 statement.

 

The Stick-Builder Horton Website Says the Following

About D.R. Horton, Inc.

D.R. Horton, Inc., America’s Builder, has been the largest homebuilder by volume in the United States for sixteen consecutive years. Founded in 1978 in Fort Worth, Texas, D.R. Horton has operations in 79 markets in 26 states across the United States and closed 48,731 homes in the twelve-month period ended March 31, 2018. The Company is engaged in the construction and sale of high-quality homes through its diverse brand portfolio that includes D.R. Horton, Emerald Homes, Express Homes and Freedom Homes ranging from $100,000 to over $1,000,000. D.R. Horton also provides mortgage financing and title services for homebuyers through its mortgage and title subsidiaries.”

 

The D. R. Horton Takeaways for Manufactured Housing?

There are numerous top-line takeaways for manufactured housing in the D. R. Horton story. The Daily Business News on MHProNews will point to only one this morning.  It’s this.  There is a need for all true leaders in the manufactured home industry to stand up and fight for the reputation of their industry.

D. R. Horton proves you can have significant issues, and still be wildly more successful than those in our industry are today. D. R. Horton’s quality concerns arguably dwarf those of manufactured housing. D.R. Horton aggressively markets their product.

If that is obviously so, then how is it that on something as apparently simple as the use of proper terminology about manufactured homes, the MH Industry can’t get the media to get that right?  How can it be that 42 years after the first HUD Code homes were built, that the industry’s big corporate leaders can’t get many in the media to use the correct nomenclature?

Proper Definitions, Mobile Home, Manufactured Home, or Trailer House – Civil Rights, Respect, Public Policy, & Value Issues

See the related story, linked above.  The public focused story on D.R. Horton, is linked below.

Exposé! Heartbroken Conventional Housing Buyers? Dare to Compare Site Built with Modern Manufactured Homes

That’s this morning’s look at “News through the lens of manufactured homes, and factory-built housing.” © “We Provide, You Decide.” ©  ## (News, analysis and commentary.)

(Third party images, content are provided under fair use guidelines.)

Related Reports:

“Why Advocates Need to Rethink Manufactured Home Quality,” Harvard, GSE, Genz, “High Satisfaction”

 

“Take the MH Advantage Challenge – Can You Tell the Difference?” Fisk of Sarah Edelman, Director of Duty to Serve, Single-Family Mortgage Business for Fannie Mae

 

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Within an Ongoing Wave of Routinely Problematic Media Reports, What Do Actual Manufactured Home Owners Say?

April 16th, 2018 Comments off
WithinAnOngoingWaveofRoutinelyProblematicMediaReportsWhatDoActualManufacturedHomeOwnersSayMHLivingNewsManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNews

Still from the MHLivingNews video, posted further below.

There’s an ongoing drum beat of news media coverage that reflects on manufactured homes and their owners.

 

In part because of the principle of significant numbers of editors – “If it Bleeds, if Leads” – many hard news media, stations, and news channels tend to focus on problems, as opposed to ‘good news.’  Simple Google searches demonstrate that reality when it comes to manufactured homes, as the report linked below reveals. To be fair, its not universally true.  There are arguably some mitigating circumstances, for example, when a writer is rushed and relies on stereotypes instead of in depth research.  But the fact remains that a survey of most news coverage about manufactured homes tend to be negative, rather than positive.

 

Media Bias, Ignorance, Manufactured Homes, Agenda Journalism, the Truth About “Fake News”

Given the affordable housing crisis, the general pattern of media coverage is a problem for millions of home seekers, who are kept in the dark due to in part to a general lack of understanding of what the realities are today.

There are exceptions to that pattern of media bias or ignorance, as the report linked below reflects.  As other Daily Business News reports have indicated, public officials also play a role in this challenge of misinformation.  The same could be said about some significant forces within the ranks of the industry, who fail to routinely defend the industry which they are supposed to promote.

Bloomberg, HousingWire, Realtor and Fox all suggest Manufactured Homes as Important Solution for Affordable Housing in America

Third Party and University Level Research Often Favorable Towards Manufactured Housing

While you may not learn it from the bulk of media reports, for at least two decades, federal and third-party researched published reports often debunked prejudiced or ignorant view of modern manufactured homes, and their owners.

MultipleReasonsExpectManufacturedHousingDoBetterThanSiteBuiltHousingEricBelskyEecDirJointCenterHousingStudiesHarvardUnivDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

At the time Belsky made this prediction, manufactured homes were selling over 250,000 new units per year. This year, MH won’t reach 40 percent of that total. What happened?

Pride and Prejudice: The Truth About Manufactured Home Communities and Crime

Weather Expert’s Surprising, Bombshell Statement on Tornado Deaths and Affordable Manufactured Homes

Federal Data Spotlights Manufactured Home Industry Quality, Regulatory Questions

But for a variety of reasons previously outlined, the voices of manufactured home professionals and owners are often depicted as negative.

Meanwhile – in an ironic twist, federal data, plus third party surveys and research – routinely reveal widespread manufactured home owner satisfaction.

Foremost Report: Manufactured Home Customer Survey and Market Facts

Manufactured Home Owners – Satisfaction Survey Redux

What the brief review above reveals is that the authentic voices of manufactured homes owners are often lost in the bulk of affordable housing discussions in America.

 

Affordable Housing Focus Group Video, Episode 2

Thus this affordable housing focus group video below is a break from the norm.  In this periodic series of videos with manufactured home owners, they will help correct some of these oversights and challenges found in the context of America’s affordable housing discussion.

 

 

Episode 2 – above – of our affordable housing focus group builds on what Daily Business News readers learned in our first report, linked below.

Affordable Housing Focus Group, Comparing Housing Options, Rent, Conventional, Condos, Manufactured Homes

This post will be updated to the MHLivingNews.com public version of this post once that’s published and available.  ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

Related Reports:

Evergreen, Manufactured Homes and NIMBY, “Why the Feds Must Step In”

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“Kevin…the Problem of Your Industry…”

March 31st, 2018 Comments off

FootOnBrakePedalManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

In the video interview with Kevin Clayton, the son of Jim Clayton says what Warren Buffett, Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway says is what’s wrong with the manufactured home industry.

 

Per Clayton, Buffett says it’s resale.

Kevin, it seems to me that the problem of your industry is resale.” – Warren Buffett said to Kevin Clayton, per Clayton’s video interview.

That may seem simple. But it is profound.

In the same video interview posted below, Clayton says that he can see the day when their company’s manufactured homes may also be sold via the Berkshire Hathaway real estate arm.

Another source tells the Daily Business News that Kevin – speaking at an Illinois state association event – said, Resale is the key. As Warren Buffett says ‘the MH industry is not going to grow until we expand the market by improving resale’s” – said Joanne Stevens, whose community brokerage operation is also part of Berkshire Hathaway.

Speaking of real estate, in Buffett’s recent annual letter, he says they now have 3 percent of the real estate agents in the country. ‘Just 97 percent to go,’ Buffett said.

The above begs a question.  Realtors weren’t necessary for the industry to hit is previous highs.  So why are the necessary now?

But setting that question aside for now, with respect to the broader housing market, resale and realtors are important topics. Buffett and Clayton are correct in saying its an issue, as what follows will reveal.

 

Realtors and Manufactured Housing

Among the consulting projects this writer has done in manufactured housing over the years is to successfully get real estate agents to engage with manufactured homes being sold in land-lease communities.

The following observation is neither a defense, nor a hit, on the Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs) of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and their toe-in-the-water approach to manufactured home lending – especially home only, chattel lending.

If more:

  • realtors were engaged in resale’s of manufactured homes in communities,
  • if the exit strategy for manufactured housing on leased or owned land were easier,
  • it would logically be a game changer for the industry.

Why?  Because it would be a game-changer for lenders, as it could cut hold time and losses on homes that repossess or foreclose.

It would also be appealing for manufactured home owners too, because they would know that they’ve got an obvious exit strategy when the time comes to sell their personal home.

Buffett and Clayton are logically correct.

 

Realtors and Resales of Manufactured Homes

Don’t misread. There are already real estate pros listing and selling manufactured homes.  There are realtors who sell new as well as pre-owned, “existing” manufactured homes.

But a little like the GSEs, for most real estate agents, that engagement is at toe-in-the-water level.

Law Allows Real Estate Personnel to Sell Homes in Your Manufactured Home Community

 

The End of the First Quarter of 2018 in Manufactured Housing

As the first quarter of manufactured housing in 2018 is about to hit the history books, what the past tells us is that the industry’s still at levels far below historic norms.  The chart below is an example.

ManufacturedHomeShipmentTrendsPercentageNewHomeStartsSkylineChampionPowerPointMastheadBlogDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

A combination of factors causes those relatively low levels of new HUD Code manufactured home sales.  HUD and third party data reveal that quality isn’t an issue, so what is?

Federal Data Spotlights Manufactured Home Industry Quality, Regulatory Questions

Among them is a scarcity of independent retailers.

Who says?  Producers of HUD Code manufactured homes, all of whom – including those who are members in the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) and the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) that were asked about this – confirmed that a lack of independent retailers is as an issue.

As was previously noted in the Daily Business News, some are attempting to address the problem by ‘giving vertical.’ Others told MHProNews that they are considering going vertical. A few have made strong commitments to their independent retailers, and said they would never go into competition with their dealer base.

Beyond the lack of intendent retailers, what else holds the industry back?  Stop and consider these bullets.

  • Berkshire could bridge the gap between real estate (RE) agents and manufactured housing with ease. Why hasn’t that RE agent switch – which Kevin imagined coming in 2011 – been more broadly turned on?

 

  • Berkshire has its own array of newsmaper/media outlets. Why don’t their media outlets do a steady stream of fact-based articles on the wonders of modern manufactured homes?

 

  • Several other challenges facing the industry could readily be addressed by a snap of a finger in Omaha.

 

  • Why haven’t those industry growth steps already occurred? What could be the logical motivation for Berkshire Hathaway keeping a foot on the break peddle of the industry’s growth?  Isn’t that counter-intuitive?

 KevinItSeemsToMeThatTheProblemOfYourIndustryisResaleWarrenBuffettToKevinClaytonHomesManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBuisnessNewsMHProNews

 

The Answer to those BH Questions…?

Are the same reasons Buffett’s Berkshire brands not boosting manufactured housing, as the bullets above suggest they could be, similar to why Buffett supported POTUS Obama, and then Secretary Hillary Clinton for president?

Both Clinton and Obama opposed changes to Dodd-Frank.  Those changes in CFPB regulations, that Tim Williams, President and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway owned 21st Mortgage said he wanted those regulations modified by MHI’s multi-year – and still unsuccessful – pursuit the Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act.

Given the sheer size of Berkshire Hathaway, if one imagines a foot on a brake pedal, artificially slowing the growth of the industry, whose foot’s on that brake? And why?

Is it because the greater percentage of the industry will fall into Berkshire’s hands?  Buffett has said that he loves a bargain.  Buffett has also said that he tells his managers to fight competitors, including by expanding their “moat.”

In that context, isn’t it worth noting that MHI President Richard ‘Dick’ Jennison touted on video his desire for slow growth for manufactured housing? Who did that slow growth serve?

HUD Secreatary Carson was so enthusiastic about manufactured housing’s “Amazing” progress and quality, that he is almost gushing about it in the video posted below.


The professionals working for the GSEs this writer has privately spoken with are impressed with the quality and value of today’s manufactured homes.

When professionals from outside of our industry are properly exposed to manufactured homes, they are routinely blown away by the value.  At a recent trade show, a senior vice president for an international operation told MHProNews that he was shocked that manufactured housing sales levels were so low, given their quality and value.


What did the Urban Institute miss?

Is it what was went undisclosed in their report on manufactured homes?

If you have a long Easter weekend, this may be a good chance to catch up on the study of your own industry. “Warren” – says Kevin Clayton – has studied manufactured housing.

Perhaps it’s time for more industry pros to do the same?  See the linked resources and reports, including the Warren Buffett and Kevin Clayton videos, found below. “We Provide, You Decide.” © (News, analysis, and commentary.)

Related Reports – some with videos – to the above.

DUTYtoServePaulBarrettoFannieMaeManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews550

http://www.mhpronews.com/blogs/daily-business-news/fannie-maes-paul-barretto-news-making-remarks-in-tunica/

Duty To Serve, “Complete Waste of Time” per Tim Williams, CEO/21st Mortgage; POTUS Trump, Warren Buffett Insight$

Killing Off 100s of Independent Manufactured Home Retailers, Production Companies – Tim Williams/21st Mortgage “Smoking Gun” Document 2

NAR’s Yun – No Quick Fixes Spell$ Manufactured Housing Opportunitie$

Documented Results from Manufactured Housing Industry Leadership

Progressive “Nation” Reports on Monopolies Cites Buffett, Clayton, Others – MH Industry Impact?

(Third party images, cites are provided under fair use guidelines.)

ThereAreOnly2WaysToLearnOwnOthersExperiencesLATonyKovachManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNews-575x235By L. A. “Tony” Kovach,
award-winning consulting, publisher, web, video, recruiting, sales training, business development service provider.

MHLivingNews.com | MHProNews.com | Office 863-213-4090 |

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Impact of Fear – Manufactured Home Sales, Business, Investment, Zoning, Politics, Media, Manipulation, and You

January 12th, 2018 Comments off

Americans must recognize, says Harvard psychologist Susan David, that “A familiar story is not necessarily a truthful story.”

In “The Science of Fear-Mongering: How to Protect Your Mind from Demagogues,” Harvard psychologist Susan David explains “the dangers of fear-mongering, the questionable ethics of journalism in spreading hate politics, and the disturbing way that repetition wears down our brain’s resistance to fallacies and hate speech,” per Big Think’s YouTube post.

 

David notes that feelings of safety, right, comfort – their opposites – along with the role that repetition plays, are all part of the “the science of fear mongering.

What has arguably gone under-explored in the manufactured housing industry is the role that fear plays with:

  • Prospective buyers,
  • public officials (think, zoning – votes),
  • investors, business people (being in – or not in – ‘the group,’
  • media,
  • educators,
  • industry members themselves – what causes you or others to think and behave as you do,

plus all others.

Composite still from the video, posted below.

Susan David’s Video

David’s 8-minute video has a left-of-center slant that would be common among many in Harvard. With that caveat and bias in mind, she nevertheless makes important points for manufactured housing professionals to consider.

How is feared used to condition people, for-or-against something?

What role does propaganda play in fear?

Benson Demonstrates How “Propaganda Works” on “Most Americans”

Customers are often driven by a variety of fears.

For instance in sales, there’s the notion of the ‘fear of loss’ – rising interest rates, pricing, a closeout model, or that perfect vacant home-site are but some examples – that have often been used as a real or imagined pressure point to ‘close the deal.’

But among customers, there are other fears.

What about fear caused by the economy? Or how fear of “X” – fill in the blank for x – affect my job?  Will there be a war with North Korea, Red China, or Russia? Will terrorists strike?

Then there are also fears caused by social pressures, or safety concerns.

Those kinds of powerful emotional drivers are reasons why videos and articles can be useful in helping a customer overcome a false fear.  Facts – properly understood – can overcome fear. An example from MHLivingNews.com is posted below.  But there are hundreds of others that address specific issues, often from the vantage point of the home owner or an expert.

Hurricane Irma Florida Survivor Relates First-Hand Manufactured Home Safety, Durability Experience

David’s point is one that impacts investors, and all professionals.

ConfidentialNewsTipsOKTipsIreportMHNews@MHMSM-comGraphic

To report a news tip, click the image above or send an email to iReportMHNewsTips@mhmsm.com – To help us spot your message in our volume of email, please put the words NEWS TIP in the subject line.

Fear can cause people to do – or not do – something that their normal value system would cause them to be inclined to do.  Pollsters, for example, recognized that a percentage of “the Trump voters would not always say what they believed. Isn’t that a social acceptance fear at work?

Is fear manifest in other ways within the manufactured housing industry?  Isn’t the only answer, yes?

David asks, “How do we thrive in a world where every which way we turn our fear is being activated by politicians, by the media and by the desperate events that are happening around us?”

Spotting fear, and recognizing techniques of manipulation are perhaps as or more important today than in years gone by.

Why?  Because when people are ‘busy,’ they often default into patterns – instead of questioning, based upon evidence, those patterns and beliefs.

What is really fascinating when we look at the brain research around fear is that our brains proxy anything that feels unfamiliar, incoherent or inaccessible as being unsafe,” says David.

There is fascinating research that shows that when people have lower levels of self-esteem and they are in a job in which they are recognized and promoted, that promotion can feel incoherent to the person with low self-esteem. They have low self-esteem and they might be used to and expecting to be treated badly. So what is fascinating is the results showing that when people are promoted when they have a lower levels of self-esteem they are more likely to leave their jobs,” the psychologist explains.

Fear is an incredibly, incredibly powerful force in our lives and our brains are fairly immature in assessing anything that feels slightly incoherent for unfamiliar as unsafe. What this might mean is that if you are used to hearing a story time and time again from a parent or from a partner about how you are not good enough, you are more likely to be drawn to that relationship because it feels familiar,” she says.

David adds that, “Fear has always had a hold on us, but never with such fervor.”

Media savvy professionals recognize that fear must be overcome.

But how often do professionals consider that habit combined with fear can be coercive?

What are the ways that fear and manipulation tactics may be used against you, your customers, or others that you know? We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

Note 1: Stay in the know! Thousands of MH Pros, Investors, Officials and Housing Experts do it. You, your team, and industry colleagues can sign up to the MH Industry leading headline news/updates – typically sent twice weekly – click here to sign up in just seconds.

SoheylaKovachManufacturedHomeLivingNewsManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews-Submitted by Soheyla Kovach to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.com.

“How to Find Affordable Home in Today’s Market,” Manufactured Housing Industry-Statepoint Media Fact-Check

December 18th, 2017 Comments off

HowFindAffordableHomeStatepointManufacturedHousingInstitteMHILogoAdvertorialAnalysisCritiqueMHProNews

To cure a problem, one must first recognize that a problem exists.

A recent message to the Daily Business News on MHProNews from an award-winning Manufactured Home (MH) industry executive read in part, “…you are rapidly becoming the industry’s institutional memory…”

The MH Industry, as is true for most professions, is in routine state of flux and transition. A new generation of professionals is and has been entering the MH space for years. Thousands of MH professionals have little or no actual experience with the industry’s most recent peaks in the 1990s.

Thousands in MHVille – including some big-time investors – have even less experience with the industry’s heydays, reflected in the roaring shipment levels of the 1970s. See those respective new home shipment graphics, below.

Institutional Memory and It’s Importance to MH Pros, Investors

Institutional Memory” is a significant issue.

Because without that sense of history and ‘institutional memory,’ there are no baselines and experiences that can aide the industry’s professionals and investors to understand just what the industry’s accomplishments in the past have been.

Without that baseline of experience, it’s harder for some to believe that similar or far greater results are possible.

Celebration, and Accountability 

In that context, reliable information becomes valuable.

As has often been noted, not just Warren Buffett, but other industry leaders like investor Sam Zell have spelled out the opportunities in MHLand that they are confident in, while also noting the challenges that the MH Industry faces.

Two related an MHProNews exclusive Sam Zell interviews are linked below.

http://MHProNews.com/featured-articles/december-2017/sam-zell-the-point-of-the-spear-and-you-ve-got-to-have-confidence

http://MHProNews.com/featured-articles/december-2017/sam-zell-says-our-way-of-life-is-very-much-threatened

The graphic below is based on a quote from one of those 2 linked parts of the Zell interview.

pencil-head-its-not-a-trailer-park-els-chairman-sam-zell-c2013lifestyle-factory-homes-llc-all-rights-reserved-manufactured-ho

To see a two part exclusive interview with Sam Zell, click the links above.

Expert insights and views – across the spectrum of good, bad, or ‘meh’ toward MH – must routinely be examined.

Where critiques about the industry are valid, they reasonably ought to be taken seriously and addressed.

When criticism is invalid, they ought to be fact-checked and exposed.

As prior Daily Business News and MHLivingNews features have showcased, some reports by mainstream media or third-party researchers glow about today’s manufactured homes.

A some examples are linked below.

Bloomberg, HousingWire, Realtor and Fox all suggest Manufactured Homes as Important Solution for Affordable Housing in America

Pride and Prejudice: The Truth About Manufactured Home Communities and Crime

Not Your Grandfather’s Trailer House

When there are problems in mainstream media or third-party research reports, we as pro-industry trade media strive to select some of those and then do a fact-check and analysis.

MHProNews and MHLivingNews – often in concert with other industry professionals, such as MHARR – have engaged third-party researchers and media. 

A pair of examples are linked below.

Trade Publisher, Experts call for Respect, Understanding for Manufactured Housing, Manufactured Home Owners

Avoidable Tragedies! Mobile Home Fires vs. Manufactured Home, and Conventional Housing

Manufactured home professionals don’t have to exaggerate at all to home buyers, the media, researchers, or public officials.  The truth well told is powerful,” said MHProNews publisher, L. A. “Tony” Kovach. “When someone in the industry fails to convey the truth in a proper fashion – with no spin, and using [the] correct terminology – that professional, and industry, gains credibility.  Its a proven fact that a consistent educational effort leads to greater trust, interest, and over-time to more qualified manufactured home buyers.”

Just as media must be held accountable, so too must problematic behavior – or questionable media efforts – by those in the MH Industry.

Holding all to account is a traditional role in American media, including in independent industry trade media. Consistently holding others accountable enhances credibility, and thus also aids the industry-at-large in establ8shing and/or regaining the trust lost in recent years.

The example below is a report that held both media and the industry professional involved to account.

“Jail Him!” NPR’s “Mobile Home Park Owners Can Spoil An Affordable American Dream” Refuted

The following is another example of holding anti-MH bias/ignorance/media spin to account.

The REAL Truth, vs. Fake News, About Modern Manufactured Homes

It is against this backdrop of the traditional role of media as a watchdog for accountability that MHI’s latest advertorial must be fact-checked and examined.

ManufacturedHousingIndustryMediaWatchdogDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

As a disclosure, MHProNews has not been commissioned to do an examination of the latest MHI advertorial, which is found here as a download. We will focus on only 2 of several possible points.

1)    The Advertorial Approach is a Problematic Method for a Manufactured Housing Trade Association.

2)    Holding MHI to Account Has Proven to Be Effective Over Time.

Let’s examine each in sequence.

MHI’s Advertorial Approach

Marty Lavin, Frank Rolfe, Bob Crawford and Titus Dare are just a few of the many manufactured housing industry professionals who have criticized or blasted MHI for their media engagement – and/or lack thereof – practices. So, while many of those critiques are found on MHProNews, Rolfe and Crawford are among those who have both used other communications vehicles to convey their concerns about MHI.  Admittedly, as the top-read MH industry trade publications, they are more easily spotted here.

Marty Lavin Lashes the Manufactured Housing Institute’s (MHI) Latest Initiative

Frank Rolfe: Pressured into Silence? Manufactured Housing Industry, and Journalism

TitusDareEagleOneFinancialStatepointAdvertorialDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

MHI’s Advertorials, Plus Failure to Respond to MSM Reports, Leads to Ongoing MH Image Issues, as the example below demonstrates.  Where is MHI’s response to this problematic report by Bloomberg, which will get far more play than their recent advertorial will?

Bloomberg, Rising “Mobile Home” Prices, and the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI)

Anyone in the mainstream media who reviews MHI’s prior advertorials and releases, and compares them to their current one, will likely spot immediate inconsistencies and contradictions.

An important example is the prior advertorials and MHI statements claimed savings in buying a manufactured home that ranges from 1o percent “up to 35 percent,” “per the U.S. Census Bureau.”  MHI’s most recent advertorial shows a very different – and more accurate one – of 5o percent savings.

Won’t any intelligent person wonder, which is it?

How could the largest manufactured home national trade association not get such an important fact wrong?

HowardWalkerJDViceChairEquityLifestylePropELS-ManufacturedHousingInstituteLogoViceChair-postedMastheadManufacturedHomeIndustryResearcMHProNews600

To rephrase, inconstancies and errors by MHI beg questions like the following, questions that any good journalist or researcher will ask.

  • Which savings number are correct? 
  • What other contradictions or possible errors are in MHI’s claims?
  • If a researcher bothers to dig and discover the correct answer, then ‘Why did MHI understate before, and only later correct their error months later?’ 
  • Why is MHI using advertorials at all?
  • Given their advertorial approach, are the MHI-Next Step-Clayton-Cavco-Champion homes videos staged ads too?

MHI Video Segue

Speaking of the MHI sponsored videos, as it is related, how are they doing?

The Daily Business News looked at just one of them at random, to prepare this report.

2017-12-17_1358MHIStoryTellingCampaignDailyNextStepRichardStoryClaytonCavcoChampionHomesManufacturedHousingInstituteLogos

 

The screen capture above reflects what the facts are on the total views of the videos, per YouTube.  A little more than a month after they launched, 142 views. Note that some of those are our views, to analyze the video and its content.  Some views – one would think – are from MHI staffers, and then other views will be from those who produced the video, or who are one of the four named companies being promoted by them.

Part of what that means is that not even one person from every MHI member company has viewed this video, even though MHI made a specific ask to their members to promote their videos.

 

The Bottom Lines Are…?

Those who love MHI – and those who are indifferent or oppose the national association – should all be able to agree that the national trade body can’t be effective for the industry – nor has it been during the term of Richard “Dick” Jennison as its president – so long as they keep making avoidable mistakes.

In fairness to Jennison, he is widely seen as doing what MHI’s 4 person executive committee tells him to do.  So aren’t both staff and leadership ultimately responsible for MHI “performance?”

With two of the four MHI executive committee members working for Berkshire Hathaway companies, and a third – and the current MHI chairman – Joe Stegmayer being a former Clayton Homes division president, is there any escaping the impression that MHI is an allegations-and-problem-plagued puppet of Warren Buffett led Berkshire Hathaway?

Fraud, Class Action, CFPB-Warren Buffett, Berkshire Hathaway, Clayton Homes, Vanderbilt Mortgage & Finance, 21st Mortgage, Manufactured Housing Institute, and the Manufactured Homes Industry

2012 Election Results and Coming Lame Duck Session

There is Hope…

The thin hope for MHI logically rests on the following realities.

  1. They do respond to repeated fact-based pressure, as MHARR and MHProNews have demonstrated. They will over-time pivot to a better position, but often only after they’ve held a previous problematic one. So, take-away one is that MHI needs those outside pressures to hold them accountable, and force their pivots.

Exclusive – HUD’s Manufactured Housing Program Administrator Pam Danner, Update

doe-sbaregulatoryresearchcenter-mharr-mhpronews-mhenergyrulecontroversyspreads-dailybusinessnewsmanufacturedhousingindustrymhpronews

Click to see media release on the Digital Journal. Each logo is the property of their respective organization, and is used here under Fair Use guidelines, collage and text graphic, by MHProNews. MHI later pivoted, as an apparent result of ongoing coverage by MHARR and MHProNews.

Andy Gallagher, “Ousting” Pam Danner, MHI, Clayton’s RVP, WVHI – “Transparency”

2. The Arlington, VA based MHI trade association needs to be reformed, and/or supplanted by a new-post production association. It must become more representative to the industry at large, rather than promote the interests of a few favored companies, which are obviously being paid for by all of their members.

Study Recommending New Manufactured Housing Association for Independent Retailers, Communities, Lenders, Others Released

It is axiomatic.

TheFirstStepInSolvingAProblemIsToRecognizethatItDoesExistZigZiglarDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

The only way to correct a problem is to first admit that it exists.

Then, once the reality that a problem exists has set in, fact-based changes are required.

quote-human-progress-is-neither-automatic-nor-inevitable-every-step-toward-the-goal-of-justice-martin-luther-king-jrMHProNews

Anything else is the popular definition of insanity, that was advanced by Albert Einstein, in the quote below.

InsanityDoingTheSameThingOverAndoverAgainExpectingDifferentResultsAlbertEinstienMHProNews

Failure to act logically only prolongs the industry’s communications and image woes. Agree?  Disagree?

We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, fact checks, analysis, P.E.P. MH Educational, commentary.)

Notice 1: Looking for our emailed MH Industry headline news updates? Click here to sign up in 5 seconds. You’ll see in the first issue or two why big, medium and ‘mom-and-pop’ professionals are reading them by the thousands, typically delivered twice weekly.

Notice 2:  Want sustainable growth?  Join the Manufactured Housing Revolution team’s proven marketing and other MH Professional Services, click here.

(Image credits are as shown above, and when provided by third parties, are shared under fair use guidelines.)

SoheylaKovachManufacturedHomeLivingNewsManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews-Submitted by Soheyla Kovach to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.com.

 

Vanderbilt, 21st Mortgage, “Easy Manufactured Home Loans,” GSEs and Manufactured Home Industry Lending Updates

November 3rd, 2017 Comments off

VanderbiltMortgageFinance21stMortgageFinanceFannieMaeFreddieMacLogosManufacturedHousingNotMobileHomesLoansLendingDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsAnother informed source with a Berkshire Hathaway unit confirmed to the Daily Business News that Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance (VMF) does indeed offer a zero-down payment loan program.

That program is made exclusively for corporately owned Clayton Homes retailers, under their various retail outlet brands (Clayton, Oakwood, Freedom, etc.), per that source.

The program is not a ‘land in lieu’ of down payment program.  It is, per prior and recent reports, a true zero down chattel (home only) loan.

Of course the loan is for those who qualify, but per sources, it is a true zero down payment loan.  This most recent source told MHProNews that part of those qualifications are a 720 credit score or higher.  More on FICO score point, further below.

The issue is significant in a variety of ways, including the possible meaning for the;

  • Duty to Serve program – if the data were made available to the Government Sponsored Enterprises,
  • but also for reasons of competitive advantage in the marketplace.
NoMoneyDownMHChattelLoanDailyBusinessNewsManufacturedHousingIndustryProNews-575x337

Screen capture of graphic from a prior MHProNews report, to see the initial news story on this issue, click the graphic above.

“Unfair Competition…”…?

NotRightVMFZeroDownPaymentChattelLoanManufacturedHousingIndustryNewsMHProNews

As the Dept. of Justice (DoJ) is reportedly considering an anti-trust action outside of the MH Industry, some observers are wondering what such a move might signal for the manufactured housing industry? The screen capture above is of a message to MHProNews from a retailer, expressing their view about the VMF Zero Down program.

The issue of the zero-down loans from Vanderbilt was first raised by another HUD Code manufactured home retail operation to the Daily Business News (see screen capture at left).

That source stated in a series of messages (only one shown at left) their belief that the VMF no down chattel loan program was an unfair competitive advantage for Berkshire Hathaway owned retailers.

Legal determinations are beyond the scope of trade publishing – they are matters for the legal system.

But the topics of lending, competition, and trade practices are of general interest to the industry; including but not limited to:

retailers,
producers,
and other industry lenders,

among others.

Is A 720 Credit Score High?

While a 720-credit score may seem like a high bar to many retailers, in the world of conventional housing, its about the norm, per sources.

AverageCreditScoreByStateOnMorgageLoansMHproNews

In fact, per the Truth About Mortgages, in September 2017, the average credit score for home buyers was now up to 745.  They cited Housing Credit Index (HCI) from CoreLogic, as the source for their data.

That raises the issue of the quality of credit scores that manufactured housing retailers and communities often, but not always, attracts.

JImNikopoulosPresidentECNCapitalCorpAgreesBuyTriadFinancialServicesDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews

Much of the industry is focused on getting low credit scores ‘bought,’ but the recently announced Triad/ECN deal reflects a different reality. People with good credit buy manufactured homes too. To learn more about the recent announcement, click the graphic above.

As professionals often stress, those with lower credit scores and lower incomes need an opportunity for home ownership too, and manufactured housing often serves as a pathway for that in the market.

However, when the manufactured home community or retail sides of the industry become too focused on those ‘entry level’ credit scores, that’s a turn-off to many lenders.  The reason low credit scores are shunned, is because they tend not to perform as well as higher ones – and lenders want loans that perform.

Representatives of the GSEs have said in public and private meetings that credit quality is a concern to them.  They might wince when they sit in a meeting room with community and retail sales people, and one of the first questions asked of a lender is how low of a credit score do you buy?”

DonGlissonJrTriadFinanialServicesDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

The recent announcement of Triad Financial Services entering into an agreement to be acquired by Canadian ECN Capital ought to be a signal for more in the industry on several levels.

One of those takeaways is that Triad – which has historically focused on more qualified credit customers – does hundreds of millions of dollars a year in well qualified manufactured home lending.  Reports say that Triad’s preferred lending space are the so called “A & B” credit customers, not the “C & D” paper that are far more commonly found among the VMF and 21st loan portfolios.

As the video below and facts about industry lenders such as Triad and Credit Human reflect, the upside market potential for the industry is found primarily in the higher credit scores, and the more qualified buyers.

Attracting those qualified bill payers would also make it easier, per lending sources, for the Enterprises to take the dive, which might include some lower quality credit scores, so long as lower credits are the minority of the loans being made, and the overall portfolio performance is sound and sustainable.

That those good loans and buyers are out there by the millions is proven by the overall totals in the U.S. housing market (see graphic below).

Manufactured homes barely scratch the surface of the total count of existing homes sold per year, and hover around 9 to 10 percent of new single family housing starts.  Given the affordable housing crisis, the manufactured home industry’s potential is enormous.

Thus the statements by award winning retailer, Alan Amy, who stated on camera the intense interest of the billionaires and multi-billion dollar operations in manufactured housing.

9percent1percentNewManufacturedHousingTrillionDollarHousingNewExistingHomeSales2016CreditManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews_1

21st Mortgage Competitor For Weaker Credit Scores…

In an upcoming report, MHProNews will spotlight a lender who is targeting lower credit scores.

Per our sources, they want to buy billions of dollars in paper total, much of it home only, chattel loans.

And they want to do so in just a few years, per our inside sources.

Will they be giving 21st Mortgage a run for their money?  Time will tell.

That report, and others are planned during November as part of our ongoing – and industry leading – track of finance related issues that impact the manufactured housing industry.  ## (News, context, analysis.)

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(Image credits are as shown above.)

SoheylaKovachManufacturedHomeLivingNewsManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews-Submitted by Soheyla Kovach to the Daily Business News on MHProNews.com.

Is an Economic Crisis Looming for Seniors? Manufactured Housing Industry Impact?

September 11th, 2017 Comments off
PensionCrisisCreditTheDailyEconomistDailyBusinessNews

Featured image credit, The Daily Economist.

Retirees and those 50 or over make up about half of all manufactured home (MH) buyers, per sources such as Foremost Insurance’s MH industry research.

So the security – or lack thereof – of pension funds could prove important – perhaps even critical – for the industry in markets where pension funds are at risk.

It is one of several problems the new Trump Administration will have to take on, after decades of Democratic and GOP failures to successfully address the issue.

How bad is the problem?

U.S. public pensions lack $3.85 trillion needed to pay the retirement benefits of current and retired workers, per research shared with Financial Times.

SenatorOrrinHatchCreditSenatorOrrinHatchDailyBusinessNews

Senator Orrin Hatch. Image credit, Senator Orrin Hatch.

This [research] further underscores the financial risks of the nation’s public pension crisis and the need to act on smart policies that will help secure retirement programmes for Americans that work for state and local governments,” a spokesperson for Orrin Hatch, chairman of the US Senate finance committee, said.

Not One Fund Balanced?

According to Stanford research, out of 649 pension plans reviewed between July 2014 and June 2015, not a single U.S. city or state was running a budget that was balanced to fund existing pensions.

Joshua Rauh, the author of the study, says that the situation is more difficult for cities such as Chicago, which has unfunded pension liabilities that come out to the equivalent of 19 years-worth of the cities tax revenue.

Greater Chicago, as many land-lease community professionals know, is home to several sizable operations, as well as dozens of “mom and pop” operations.

Other cities facing similar situations include Forth Worth, New Orleans, Philadelphia, and Dallas. States like Illinois, New Jersey and Kentucky also ranked poorly in the Stanford study.  Most of these locations have a significant manufactured home community presence, some are in areas where retailer operations are important to independents and the industry.

Zero Hedge recently reported that many Kentucky residents have been retiring early in order to lock-in their pensions as legislature and Governor Matt Bevin discuss making cuts to retirement plans.

DavidSmithCreditKASEKYDailyBusinessNews

David Smith, executive director for the Kentucky Association of State Employees. Image credit, KASEKY.

There are folks that are saying you know what, I don’t care, I’m going to lock in my retirement now and get out while I can and fight it as a retiree if they go and change the retiree benefits,” said David Smith, executive director for the Kentucky Association of State Employees, per the Financial Times.

Pensions, for most government workers whether local, state or federal, are expected to support an individual through retirement.

With around half of manufactured home owners and buyers reportedly at 50 plus – retirees, and nearing retirement – this pension crisis is nothing to ignore for the industry’s professionals.

While it could prove a threat for some professionals current business model, it also could be an

l_a_tony_kovach__mhlivingnews__credit

L. A. “Tony’ Kovach., publisher, MHProNews.com MHLivingNews.com

opportunity in disguise for others who prepare for this,” says publisher and consultant, L. A. ‘Tony” Kovach. “Still, the ideal is for national leaders to come to grips with this issue. That will require enacting a robust pro-growth agenda, combined with prudent action to stabilize fundsOtherwise, there’s not enough money in the system today to fix this issue.”

A government with a serious pension funding problem is like a ship trying to sail with its anchor stuck in the mud.” said Ed Bachrach, chairman of the Centre for Pension Integrity, an organization that studies public pension plans. ## (News, analysis.)

(Image credits are as shown above, and when provided by third parties, are shared under fair use guidelines.)

JuliaGranowiczManufacturedHomeLivingNewsMHProNews-comSubmitted by Julia Granowicz to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.

 

 

 

New Home Sales Drops Sharply, Why? Video

August 26th, 2017 Comments off
NewHomeSalesDropSharplyPixabayDailyBusienssNewsMHProNews

Image credits, MHProNews/Pixabay.

New home sales took a steep 9.4 percent drop in the month of July.  This occurred after a stronger start to 2017 for the first six months.

The figures are per the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announcement Wednesday.

At a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR), there were only 571,000 units sold in July. That’s the lowest number since December 2016, and the biggest drop since August 2016, per CBNC.

The sudden drop was a surprise to economists who expected a 0.3 percent gain.

Volatility

New home sales are volatile on a month-to-month basis.  On single and multi-family housing, the numbers are determined through building permits. Year-over-year, new home sales for July were down by 8.9 percent.

The Daily Business News reported last month that housing starts were up in the month of June.  That trend obviously did not continue into July, as both permits and housing starts declined along with new home sales.

The median cost of a new home in July was $313,700, and the average selling price was even higher at $371,200. That price dramatically limits the  potential buyers for a new home.

IanshepherdsonCreditWikipediaDailyBusinessNews

Ian Sheperdson. Credit, Wikipedia.

This looks bad, but note that sales over the previous three months were revised up by a total of 46K,” Ian Shepherdson, chief economist for Pantheon Macro, said Wednesday, per UPI. “Prices are rising too, but the data are so volatile that it’s hard to be sure what the underlying trend rate of increase is at any given point.”

Regardless of the trend, conventional housing at these prices are out of reach for low and median wage workers.

The housing market is being hampered by a shortage of properties, which is driving up home prices. The new housing market has not capitalized on the acute shortage because of supply constraints facing builders, including labor, land and finance,” per CNBC.

The Daily Business News has also previously reported that a lack of new home building is one of the biggest contributing factors in the current supply and demand gap.

However, the high cost of building is making it harder to build affordable housing.

5PointsUSHousingCreditsPixabayDailyBusinessNews

Featured image credits, MHProNews/Pixabay.

According to UPI, the national inventory increased 1.5 percent to 276,000 units in July, the highest recorded since 2009. Yet new home sales still dropped by almost 10 percent with that increased inventory.


As Credit Human’s veteran Barry Noffsinger said in a recent video, the woes of these broader housing market are an open invitation for manufactured housing professionals.

Perhaps when more professionals put Noffsinger’s tips to work, the nation can rise on the global stage in home ownership, where it currently lags behind dozens of other nations.  See that report, linked here. ## (News, Analysis)

(Image credits are as shown above, and when provided by third parties, are shared under fair use guidelines.)

JuliaGranowiczManufacturedHomeLivingNewsMHProNews-comSubmitted by Julia Granowicz to Daily Business News for MHProNews

Homeownership Rates in U.S. Compared to Top 50, MHI’s Idea Revisted

August 25th, 2017 Comments off
HomeownershipRatesIntheUSFeaturedCreditChicagoTribuneDailyBusinessNews

Featured image credit, Chicago Tribune, MHProNews.

Homeownership is a way for people to generate stability and wealth and not just go to work every day,” said Deborah Moore, neighborhood planning director for Neighborhood Housing Services of Chicago.

In addition, homeownership can “change the trajectory of neighborhoods,” she added.

Homeownership is a dream that for many Americans seems far off.

The growing lack of affordable housing options across the country is manifest in a host of reports and in a variety of data.

Rents are higher than ever.  That makes it harder for minimum – and low-wage workers – to be able to afford their current housing costs, let alone save for a home.

In the United States, the homeownership rate as of the second quarter of 2017 was 63.7 percent, per the U.S. Census Bureau.

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Image credit, US Census Bureau, FRED St. Louis Fed.

But how does the United States stack up against the rest of the world?

According to Wikipedia, which takes twenty-one different sources into account, the United States ranks 41st highest percentage of homeowners in the world, with 65.4 percent.

The country with the highest homeownership rate is Romania, with 96.4 percent of citizens owning their home.

Coming in just under Romania is Singapore at 90.8 percent, Slovakia at 90.3 percent, and Cuba at 90 percent.

The U.S. is nearly neck-and-neck with the United Kingdom, where 63.5 percent are homeowners. (Editor’s Note: see the footnotes below, after the ## on Julia’s article.)

Rev. Tye on the Obvious Solution

Homeownership benefits more than just the homeowners, says manufactured housing advocate, Rev. Donald Tye, Jr.  People who own their home are more likely to maintain it, which keeps neighborhood’s more appealing, and adds to the tax base.

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Tye told MHProNews that, “As we think about housing in today’s world, the most important aspect should start with affordability. When home ownership is affordable, it has ancillary benefits.”

HUD Secretary Ben Carson has stated that the average net-worth of a homeowner in the U.S. is $200,000, while the net-worth of a renter is on average $5,000.

Ownership builds character, competence and integrity,” Tye said in soft yet potent tones.

One of the reasons that the U.S. ranks so low on homeownership compared to some of the countries on the Wikipedia list is because of the lack of affordable homes on the market.

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Harper’s Op-Ed on a related issue can be found at this link here, or by clicking the image above.

Since the so-called Great Recession of 2008, it has been more difficult to qualify for a home loan.  Conventional housing prices  continue to rise well above wages ability to sustain a mortgage on the average house.

Insufficient numbers of new homes being built are among the biggest contributing factors per a recent study, as the Daily Business News previously reported.

Manufactured housing presents a clearly viable solution, through cost-effective building that offers high-qualify homes for a fraction of the cost.

JD Harper told MHProNews last December that “most cities [in Arkansas] view factory-built structures through the same prism as billboards, cell towers and sexually-oriented businesses… something to be avoided if at all possible, but restricted and heavily regulated if allowed at all.”

However because of NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard) attitudes described above, along with outdated information perpetuated by the media, many people don’t consider it an option at all.

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If manufactured housing was better understood millions more could afford to become homeowners, and the number of homeowners in the U.S. could far exceed the current 63.4 percent. ## (News, Analysis, Fisking – below.)

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Editor’s Note: The spark for this article was our request to Julia Granowicz to do some research on MHI’s most recent Did You Know? feature.  What her research turned up was the latest example of flawed data, and unattributed information.  Please see the below.

 

 

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Original photo credit, Pixabay, text and collage credit, MHProNews.com.

Please see the statistics MHI showed, in the screen shot from their most recent email, below.  Then, compare it to the actual list shown on Wikipedia, which is shown further below.

Does it look to you like the very first country MHI showed is wrong?  Plus MHI failed to give proper credit to the source?  Then, MHI slapped their own copyright notice on someone else’s data?

We Provide, You Decide.” ©

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You are entitled to your own opinions. but your are not entitled to your own facts.” – Daniel Patrick Monaghan.

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(Image credits are as shown above, and when provided by third parties, are shared under fair use guidelines.)

JuliaGranowiczManufacturedHomeLivingNewsMHProNews-comSubmitted by Julia Granowicz to the Daily Business News for MHProNews .